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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 2 (February 2013), Pages 387-804

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Open AccessArticle Pigs and Pollards: Medieval Insights for UK Wood Pasture Restoration
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 387-399; doi:10.3390/su5020387
Received: 13 December 2012 / Revised: 14 January 2013 / Accepted: 21 January 2013 / Published: 29 January 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
English wood pastures have become a target for ecological restoration, including the restoration of pollarded trees and grazing animals, although pigs have not been frequently incorporated into wood pasture restoration schemes. Because wood pastures are cultural landscapes, created through the interaction of natural
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English wood pastures have become a target for ecological restoration, including the restoration of pollarded trees and grazing animals, although pigs have not been frequently incorporated into wood pasture restoration schemes. Because wood pastures are cultural landscapes, created through the interaction of natural processes and human practices, a historical perspective on wood pasture management practices has the potential to provide insights for modern restoration projects. Using a wide range of both written and artistic sources form the Middle Ages, this article argues that pigs were fed in wood pastures both during the mast season when acorns were available and at other times as grazing fields. Pollarded pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) likely dominated these sustainable cultural landscapes during the medieval period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terrestrial Ecosystem Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle A Report of Contemporary Rammed Earth Construction and Research in North America
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 400-416; doi:10.3390/su5020400
Received: 1 January 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 29 January 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Contemporary stabilized rammed earth (SRE) draws upon traditional rammed earth (RE) methods and materials, often incorporating reinforcing steel and rigid insulation, enhancing the structural and energy performance of the walls while satisfying building codes. SRE structures are typically engineered by licensed Structural Engineers
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Contemporary stabilized rammed earth (SRE) draws upon traditional rammed earth (RE) methods and materials, often incorporating reinforcing steel and rigid insulation, enhancing the structural and energy performance of the walls while satisfying building codes. SRE structures are typically engineered by licensed Structural Engineers using the Concrete Building Code or the Masonry Building Code. The construction process of SRE creates structural walls of relatively high compressive strength appropriate for a broad range of heating and cooling climates. The incorporation of rigid insulation creates a high mass interior wythe that is thermally separated from the exterior, resulting in improved thermal performance. Modular aluminum reinforced formwork allows walls to be built without the use of through ties, common in concrete construction. The North American Rammed Earth Builders Association (NAREBA) collaborated with Unisol Engineering Ltd. and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) on a battery of tests to obtain preliminary data to be used in support of engineering design. The tests included compressive strength comparisons, pull out rebar testing of both horizontally and vertically placed steel, simple beam tests, and the deflection of two composite wall columns with an insulation core and two types of reinforcing steel connections between the RE wythes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hakka Tulou and Sustainability: The Greenest Buildings in the World)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Progress: A Heterodox Approach
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 417-431; doi:10.3390/su5020417
Received: 5 December 2012 / Revised: 15 January 2013 / Accepted: 21 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the possibility of understanding and measuring well-being as a result of “progress” on the basis of today’s dominant epistemological framework. Market criteria distort social values by allowing purchasing power to define priorities, likening luxury goods to basic needs; in the
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This paper examines the possibility of understanding and measuring well-being as a result of “progress” on the basis of today’s dominant epistemological framework. Market criteria distort social values by allowing purchasing power to define priorities, likening luxury goods to basic needs; in the process they reinforce patterns of discrimination against disadvantaged social groups and women, introducing fatal distortions into the analysis. Similarly, because there are no appropriate mechanisms to price natural resources adequately, the market overlooks the consequences of the abuse of natural resources, degrading the quality of life, individually and collectively, or—in the framework of Latin American indigenous groups—foreclosing the possibility of “living well”. We critique the common vision of the official development discourse that places its faith on technological innovations to resolve these problems. The analysis points to the need for new models of social and environmental governance to promote progress, approaches like those suggested in the paper that are inconsistent with public policies currently in place. At present, the social groups forging institutions to assure their own well-being and ecological balance are involved in local processes, often in opposition to the proposals of the political leaders in their countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Socio-Economic Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle Growth Is the Problem; Equality Is the Solution
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 432-439; doi:10.3390/su5020432
Received: 30 November 2012 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the world economy has become more efficient in one sense, i.e., ecological damage per dollar's worth of economic output, growth in human population size and per-capita production and consumption of goods and services have together far outpaced these gains. Grievous environmental
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While the world economy has become more efficient in one sense, i.e., ecological damage per dollar's worth of economic output, growth in human population size and per-capita production and consumption of goods and services have together far outpaced these gains. Grievous environmental harm has resulted, whether measured in terms of human sustainability through the ecological footprint, or non-human welfare through such indicators as the living planet index and the number of threatened species. Many have therefore called for a reorientation of economic priorities away from growth, and toward equality as a more environmentally-friendly way to enhance human well-being. In this paper, I test the merits of this proposal through analysis of a few key national economic and ecological variables across time and space. The results confirm the hypothesis that equality does far less harm to ecosystems than growth does. In fact, equality seems to benefit one crucial aspect of environmental quality, namely biological diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 40th Anniversary of 'The Limits to Growth')
Open AccessArticle Asymptotic Behavior of a Delay Differential Neoclassical Growth Model
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 440-455; doi:10.3390/su5020440
Received: 27 November 2012 / Revised: 17 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A neoclassical growth model is examined with a special mound-shaped production function. Continuous time scales are assumed and a complete steady state and stability analysis is presented. Fixed delay is then assumed and it is shown how the asymptotic stability of the steady
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A neoclassical growth model is examined with a special mound-shaped production function. Continuous time scales are assumed and a complete steady state and stability analysis is presented. Fixed delay is then assumed and it is shown how the asymptotic stability of the steady state is lost if the delay reaches a certain threshold, where Hopf bifurcation occurs. In the case of continuously distriubuted delays, we show that with small average delays stability is preserved, then lost at a threshold, then it is regained if the average delay becomes sufficiently large. The occurence of Hopf bifurcation is shown at both critical values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 40th Anniversary of 'The Limits to Growth')
Open AccessArticle Building Damage and Business Continuity Management in the Event of Natural Hazards: Case Study of the 2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 456-477; doi:10.3390/su5020456
Received: 25 October 2012 / Revised: 14 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
PDF Full-text (1556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Sumatra Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami event on the 26 December 2004 has provided a unique and valuable opportunity to evaluate the performance of various structures, facilities and lifeline systems during the tsunami wave attacks. There are especially meaningful observations concerning
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The Sumatra Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami event on the 26 December 2004 has provided a unique and valuable opportunity to evaluate the performance of various structures, facilities and lifeline systems during the tsunami wave attacks. There are especially meaningful observations concerning the structural changes due to the tsunami forces, which open up a wide area of research to develop the mitigation procedure. The business restoration process of business companies in terms of buildings, facilities and lifelines have shown greater research interest. In this study, we investigated the restoration process of business sectors in East and South coastal region in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. A field survey was conducted in East and South coast of Sri Lanka, in order to study the affecting parameters to damage assessment in the restoration process of the business companies. The results of the questionnaire-based field survey are then compared with the statistical analysis results. Finally, the factors affecting the restoration process after the tsunami are identified. As a main conclusion, financial support could be the most important reason for delays in restoration. Moreover, it has been observed that the tsunami inundation level of higher than one meter may have had more effect concerning the damage to the structures and requires additional time for restoration than other areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Two Rivers: The Politics of Wild Salmon, Indigenous Rights and Natural Resource Management
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 478-495; doi:10.3390/su5020478
Received: 31 October 2012 / Revised: 11 January 2013 / Accepted: 16 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
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Abstract
This paper compares two rivers, Tana River in Northern Norway and Columbia River on the northwest coast of the United States of America. Both rivers host indigenous populations, the Sámi and the Nez Perce, whose cultural and material existence depends upon salmon. Because
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This paper compares two rivers, Tana River in Northern Norway and Columbia River on the northwest coast of the United States of America. Both rivers host indigenous populations, the Sámi and the Nez Perce, whose cultural and material existence depends upon salmon. Because these people live indigenously within highly industrial, postcolonial societies, their lives have been part of larger economic, political and legal structures for substantial periods of time. In these rivers, peoples have been, and are currently dealing with the possibility of salmon extinction. This article is concerned with how such a crisis has been interpreted and acted upon within two nation’s natural-resource management regimes. We observe how the threat of extinction has initiated commotion where nature, economies, legal instruments, politics and science have come into play, in ways that reveal differences in the Norwegian and American constellations of interests and powers, manifested as differences in natural resource management regimes’ hierarchies of positions. The outcome is the protection of different entities, which could be labeled cultural and biological sustainability. In the Columbia River, cultural sustainability was promoted while in the Tana, biological sustainability became prioritized. By way of our comparison we ask if the protection of one kind of sustainability has to be to the detriment of the other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endangered Human Diversity: Languages, Cultures, Epistemologies)
Open AccessArticle The Regional Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare for Flanders, Belgium
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 496-523; doi:10.3390/su5020496
Received: 28 December 2012 / Revised: 17 January 2013 / Accepted: 21 January 2013 / Published: 1 February 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the regional Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is compiled for Flanders for the period 1990–2009. The ISEW is a measure of economic welfare in that it measures the contribution of a country’s or region’s economy to the overall level
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In this paper, the regional Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is compiled for Flanders for the period 1990–2009. The ISEW is a measure of economic welfare in that it measures the contribution of a country’s or region’s economy to the overall level of well-being of its citizens. It does so by comparing the benefits and the costs of economic activities rather than simply looking at the market value of all final goods and services produced in an economy (Gross Domestic Product-GDP). The ISEW for Flanders shows that the per capita level of sustainable economic welfare in the region decreased between 1990 and 2009. The drop in the ISEW/capita is caused by a deterioration of the net international investment position of Belgium (which is divided over the different regions in the country on a per capita basis) and by an increase in the income inequalities in Flanders. To a lesser extent, the increase of the environmental costs (climate change and the use of non-renewable energy resources) also contributed to the decrease in the ISEW per capita. In the last four years of the study period, the level of sustainable economic welfare in the Flemish region started to rise again, even in 2008 and 2009 during the economic recession. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Socio-Economic Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle Cell-Gazing Into the Future: What Genes, Homo heidelbergensis, and Punishment Tell Us About Our Adaptive Capacity
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 560-569; doi:10.3390/su5020560
Received: 2 November 2012 / Revised: 2 January 2013 / Accepted: 14 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (536 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
If we wish to understand how our species can adapt to the coming tide of environmental change, then understanding how we have adapted throughout the course of evolution is vital. Evolutionary biologists have been exploring these questions in the last forty years, establishing
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If we wish to understand how our species can adapt to the coming tide of environmental change, then understanding how we have adapted throughout the course of evolution is vital. Evolutionary biologists have been exploring these questions in the last forty years, establishing a solid record of evidence that conventional, individual-based models of natural selection are insufficient in explaining social evolution. More recently, this work has supported a growing consensus that our evolution, in which we have expressed extra-ordinary adaptive capacities, can best be explained by “Multi-level Selection”, a theory that includes the influence of both genes and culture to support unique adaptive capacities premised on pro-social behaviours and group selection, not individual-level competition for survival. Applying this scholarship to contemporary concerns about adapting to environmental change may be quite fruitful for identifying sources of vulnerability and adaptive capacity, thereby informing efforts to enhance the likelihood for sustainable futures. Doing so, however, requires that we bridge the gap between evolutionary biology, and the social sciences study of sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Residential Tourism and Multiple Mobilities: Local Citizenship and Community Fragmentation in Costa Rica
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 570-589; doi:10.3390/su5020570
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current patterns of “move-in move-out” hypermobility are perfectly exemplified by residential tourism: the temporary or permanent mobility of relatively well-to-do citizens from mostly western countries to a variety of tourist destinations, where they buy property. The mobility of residential tourists does not stand
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Current patterns of “move-in move-out” hypermobility are perfectly exemplified by residential tourism: the temporary or permanent mobility of relatively well-to-do citizens from mostly western countries to a variety of tourist destinations, where they buy property. The mobility of residential tourists does not stand alone, but has broader chain effects: it converts local destinations into transnational spaces, leading to a highly differentiated and segmented population landscape. In this article, residential tourism’s implications in terms of local society in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, are examined, starting from the idea that these implications should be viewed as complex and traveling in time and space. Mobile groups, such as residential tourists, can have an important local participation and involvement (independently of national citizenship), although recent flows of migrants settle more into compatriot social networks. The fact that various migrant populations continually travel back and forth and do not envision a future in the area may restrict their opportunities and willingness for local involvement. Transnational involvement in itself is not a problem and can be successfully combined with high local involvement; however, the great level of fragmentation, mobility, temporariness and absenteeism in Guanacaste circumscribes successful community organizing. Still, the social system has not completely dissolved. Full article
Open AccessArticle Agroecosystem Analysis of the Choke Mountain Watersheds, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 592-616; doi:10.3390/su5020592
Received: 22 October 2012 / Revised: 31 December 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tropical highland regions are experiencing rapid climate change. In these regions the adaptation challenge is complicated by the fact that elevation contrasts and dissected topography produce diverse climatic conditions that are often accompanied by significant ecological and agricultural diversity within a relatively small
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Tropical highland regions are experiencing rapid climate change. In these regions the adaptation challenge is complicated by the fact that elevation contrasts and dissected topography produce diverse climatic conditions that are often accompanied by significant ecological and agricultural diversity within a relatively small region. Such is the case for the Choke Mountain watersheds, in the Blue Nile Highlands of Ethiopia. These watersheds extend from tropical alpine environments at over 4000 m elevation to the hot and dry Blue Nile gorge that includes areas below 1000 m elevation, and contain a diversity of slope forms and soil types. This physical diversity and accompanying socio-economic contrasts demand diverse strategies for enhanced climate resilience and adaptation to climate change. To support development of locally appropriate climate resilience strategies across the Blue Nile Highlands, we present here an agroecosystem analysis of Choke Mountain, under the premise that the agroecosystem—the intersection of climatic and physiographic conditions with agricultural practices—is the most appropriate unit for defining adaptation strategies in these primarily subsistence agriculture communities. To this end, we present two approaches to agroecosystem analysis that can be applied to climate resilience studies in the Choke Mountain watersheds and, as appropriate, to other agroecologically diverse regions attempting to design climate adaptation strategies. First, a full agroecoystem analysis was implemented in collaboration with local communities. It identified six distinct agroecosystems that differ systematically in constraints and adaptation potential. This analysis was then paired with an objective landscape classification trained to identify agroecosystems based on climate and physiographic setting alone. It was found that the distribution of Choke Mountain watershed agroecosystems can, to first order, be explained as a function of prevailing climate. This suggests that the conditions that define current agroecosystems are likely to migrate under a changing climate, requiring adaptive management strategies. These agroecosystems show a remarkable degree of differentiation in terms of production orientation and socio-economic characteristics of the farming communities suggesting different options and interventions towards building resilience to climate change. Full article
Open AccessArticle How Can Stores Sustain Their Businesses? From Shopping Behaviors and Motivations to Environment Preferences
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 617-628; doi:10.3390/su5020617
Received: 2 January 2013 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to (1) discover consumer purchasing behaviors while shopping as a tourist and shopping at home, and (2) investigate tourist shopping preferences for an ideal shopping environment. A sample of 1,235 respondents participated in this study. Survey participants
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The purpose of this study was to (1) discover consumer purchasing behaviors while shopping as a tourist and shopping at home, and (2) investigate tourist shopping preferences for an ideal shopping environment. A sample of 1,235 respondents participated in this study. Survey participants were asked to evaluate what store attributes they desired and what sources of information they used while selecting a store to shop in during their trips. Results indicate that consumers utilized various shopping channels while shopping in various environments. Also, different types of consumers exhibited clear preferences toward their ideal shopping environment. The results of this study are helpful for future service providers, tourism businesses, and tourism retailers to plan product development, provide better services, and equip a wider range of service skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Branding and Marketing)
Open AccessArticle Adaptive Co-Management for Climate Change Adaptation: Considerations for the Barents Region
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 629-642; doi:10.3390/su5020629
Received: 5 January 2013 / Revised: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptive co-management is a governance approach gaining recognition. It emphasizes pluralism and communication; shared decision-making and authority; linkages within and among levels; actor autonomy; and, learning and adaptation. Adaptive co-management is just starting to be applied for climate change adaptation. In drawing upon
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Adaptive co-management is a governance approach gaining recognition. It emphasizes pluralism and communication; shared decision-making and authority; linkages within and among levels; actor autonomy; and, learning and adaptation. Adaptive co-management is just starting to be applied for climate change adaptation. In drawing upon adaptive co-management scholarship and a case in progress of application for climate change adaptation in Niagara, Canada, key considerations for the Barents Euro-Arctic Region are identified. Realistic expectations, sensitivity to context, and cultivating conditions for success are highlighted as key considerations for future efforts to implement adaptive co-management approaches in the Barents Region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Valuing the Unmarketable: An Ecological Approach to the Externalities Estimate in Fishing Activities
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 643-653; doi:10.3390/su5020643
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 24 January 2013 / Accepted: 30 January 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a rapidly changing world, sustainability, if it can be said to exist at all, is concept that has attained mythic status, often pursued and rarely reached. In order to improve our capability to cope with environmental problems, adopting an Ecosystem Approach has
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In a rapidly changing world, sustainability, if it can be said to exist at all, is concept that has attained mythic status, often pursued and rarely reached. In order to improve our capability to cope with environmental problems, adopting an Ecosystem Approach has been suggested. One of the major challenges in the implementation of this new paradigm relates to control of externalities. The recognition and quantification of externalities is often cast as valuing the unmarketable, and there are several approaches that have been proposed. Here, we analyze the opportunity to “feed” the economic valuation with ecological concepts. From an ecological perspective, the energy required to sustain a biomass unit at a given trophic level (TL) is the same, whatever the species. We build on this central tenet of ecology to assess the value of a TL unit for each trophic position using fish market data. The results obtained were then used to assign a value to each species living in a given habitat, together with consideration of their ecological role within the community. Estimates of both natural capital and functional value were applied to assess the ecological impacts of mechanical clam harvesting versus the multi-species artisanal fishery in the Venice lagoon. Results are discussed in relation to possible contribution to the implementation of a different management strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Isolation and Natural Park Coverage for Landrace In situ Conservation: An Approach from the Montseny Mountains (NE Spain)
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 654-663; doi:10.3390/su5020654
Received: 3 January 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 11 February 2013
PDF Full-text (109 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human isolation in mountain areas has an extra cost for the people living there, because they occasionally have to face harsh environmental conditions. Such adaptation to the environment can be faced in several ways, and in situ landrace conservation is a proposed strategy
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Human isolation in mountain areas has an extra cost for the people living there, because they occasionally have to face harsh environmental conditions. Such adaptation to the environment can be faced in several ways, and in situ landrace conservation is a proposed strategy that concerns food acquisition and maintenance. However, human isolation could also be affected as a result of residing inside a protected area. In this paper, we assess the correlation between the in situ landraces conserved by farmers and the location of the farms inside or outside of a protected area (Montseny Mountains Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park). The variables of isolation, calculated as the time needed to reach the nearest market and the effect of altitude, were also considered. We interviewed 28 farmers, 12 inside and 16 outside of the protected area, and identified a total of 69 landraces. Those farms located inside the boundaries of the Natural Park retained more landraces than those located outside. There was also a positive and significant correlation between the landraces cultivated and the degree of isolation. The effect of altitude did not appear to be a relevant variable. Finally, a total of 38 landraces were located only on farms inside the Natural Park, 13 were found outside and 18 were cropped in both territories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Natural Protected Areas)
Open AccessArticle Stakeholder Engagement: Achieving Sustainability in the Construction Sector
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 695-710; doi:10.3390/su5020695
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 13 February 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Achieving sustainability-related targets in construction projects is increasingly becoming a key performance driver. Yet sustainability is a complex concept in projects and there are many diverse stakeholders. Some stakeholders are generally recognized as important, i.e., the client and main contractor, yet there
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Achieving sustainability-related targets in construction projects is increasingly becoming a key performance driver. Yet sustainability is a complex concept in projects and there are many diverse stakeholders. Some stakeholders are generally recognized as important, i.e., the client and main contractor, yet there are others not always perceived as such and whose absence from the decision-making processes may result in a failure to address sustainability issues. Hence there is a need for a systematic approach to engage with stakeholders with high salience in relation to sustainability. This paper reports the results of an exploratory study involving interviews with construction project practitioners that are involved in sustainability in some way. Data were collected from the practitioners in terms of the processes for engaging with stakeholders to deliver sustainability. The data suggests six steps to a stakeholder engagement process: (i) identification; (ii) relating stakeholders to different sustainability-related targets; (iii) prioritization; (iv) managing; (v) measuring performance; and (vi) putting targets into action. The results suggest that understanding the different sustainability agendas of stakeholders and measuring their performance using key performance indicators are important stages to be emphasized in any stakeholder engagement process to achieve sustainability-related goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Sustainable Behavior and its Correlates: A Measure of Pro-Ecological, Frugal, Altruistic and Equitable Actions
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 711-723; doi:10.3390/su5020711
Received: 12 December 2012 / Revised: 18 January 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measures of sustainable behavior (SB) usually include the self-report of activities aimed at the conservation of the natural environment. The sustainability notion explicitly incorporates both the satisfaction of human needs and the need of conserving the natural environment. Yet, the assessment of sustainable
[...] Read more.
Measures of sustainable behavior (SB) usually include the self-report of activities aimed at the conservation of the natural environment. The sustainability notion explicitly incorporates both the satisfaction of human needs and the need of conserving the natural environment. Yet, the assessment of sustainable behaviors rarely considers the protection of the social environment as situation to investigate. In this paper, we propose the use of an instrument assessing SB, which includes the report of pro-ecological and frugal actions in addition to altruistic and equitable behaviors. The responses provided by 807 Mexican undergraduates to a questionnaire investigating those four instances of SB were processed within a structural equation model. Emotional (indignation due to environmental destruction, affinity towards diversity, happiness) and rational (intention to act) factors assumedly linked to sustainable behavior were also investigated. Significant interrelations among pro-ecological, frugal, altruistic and equitable behaviors resulted, suggesting the presence of a higher-order-factor that we identified as SB. This factor, in turn, significantly correlated with the rest of the investigated pro-environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate and Land Use Changes on Water and Food Security in Jordan: Implications for Transcending “The Tragedy of the Commons”
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 724-748; doi:10.3390/su5020724
Received: 30 November 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (2116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the impact of climate change and land use change on water resources and food security in Jordan. The country is dominated by arid climate with limited arable land and water resources, where the per capita share of water is less
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This study investigates the impact of climate change and land use change on water resources and food security in Jordan. The country is dominated by arid climate with limited arable land and water resources, where the per capita share of water is less than 145 m3/year. The study focused on crop production and water resources under trends of anticipated climate change and population growth in the country. Remote sensing data were used to determine land use/cover changes and rates of urbanization, which took place at the cost of the cultivable land. Recession of irrigated areas led to lesser food production and food security. Outputs from crop production and water requirements models, in addition to regression analysis, were used to estimate the projected increase in agricultural water demand under the scenarios of increased air temperature and reduced rainfall by the years 2030 and 2050. Results indicated that problems of water scarcity and food insecurity would be exacerbated by climate change and increased population growth. To move from the tragedy of the commons towards transcendence, the study emphasized the need for adaptive measures to reduce the impacts of climate change on water resources and food security. The challenge, however, would remain the development and the efficient use of new water resources as a means for future sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tragedy or Transcendence: Reflections on 'The Tragedy of the Commons')
Open AccessArticle Ecology and the Tragedy of the Commons
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 749-773; doi:10.3390/su5020749
Received: 17 December 2012 / Revised: 21 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 18 February 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4228 KB)
Abstract
This paper develops mathematical models of the tragedy of the commons analogous to ecological models of resource consumption. Tragedies differ fundamentally from predator–prey relationships in nature because human consumers of a resource are rarely controlled solely by that resource. Tragedies do occur, however,
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This paper develops mathematical models of the tragedy of the commons analogous to ecological models of resource consumption. Tragedies differ fundamentally from predator–prey relationships in nature because human consumers of a resource are rarely controlled solely by that resource. Tragedies do occur, however, at the level of the ecosystem, where multiple species interactions are involved. Human resource systems are converging rapidly toward ecosystem-type systems as the number of exploited resources increase, raising the probability of system-wide tragedies in the human world. Nevertheless, common interests exclusive of exploited commons provide feasible options for avoiding tragedy in a converged world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Inequality and Trust: Testing a Mediating Relationship for Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 779-788; doi:10.3390/su5020779
Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 19 February 2013 / Accepted: 19 February 2013 / Published: 21 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (700 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Instrumental arguments linking inequality to environmental sustainability often suppose a negative relationship between inequality and social cohesion. While social cohesion is difficult to measure, there are measures of a narrower concept, social trust, and empirical studies have shown that social trust is negatively
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Instrumental arguments linking inequality to environmental sustainability often suppose a negative relationship between inequality and social cohesion. While social cohesion is difficult to measure, there are measures of a narrower concept, social trust, and empirical studies have shown that social trust is negatively related to inequality. In this paper we test whether at least part of the observed relationship may be explained by income level, rather than income distribution. We use individual response data from the World Values Survey at the income decile level, and find evidence that income level is indeed important in explaining differences in levels of social trust, but it is insufficient to explain all of the dependence. In the sample used for the study, we find that both income level and income distribution help explain differences in social trust between countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 789-804; doi:10.3390/su5020789
Received: 11 January 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 22 February 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste and materials management, land use planning, transportation and infrastructure including water and energy can have indirect or direct beneficial impacts on the environment and public health. The potential for impact, however, is rarely viewed in an integrated fashion. To facilitate such an
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Waste and materials management, land use planning, transportation and infrastructure including water and energy can have indirect or direct beneficial impacts on the environment and public health. The potential for impact, however, is rarely viewed in an integrated fashion. To facilitate such an integrated view in support of community-based policy decision making, we catalogued and evaluated associations between common, publically available, Environmental (e), Health (h), and Sustainability (s) metrics and sociodemographic measurements (n = 10) for 50 populous U.S. cities. E, H, S indices combined from two sources were derived from component (e) (h) (s) metrics for each city. A composite EHS Index was derived to reflect the integration across the E, H, and S indices. Rank order of high performing cities was highly dependent on the E, H and S indices considered. When viewed together with sociodemographic measurements, our analyses further the understanding of the interplay between these broad categories and reveal significant sociodemographic disparities (e.g., race, education, income) associated with low performing cities. Our analyses demonstrate how publically available environmental, health, sustainability and socioeconomic data sets can be used to better understand interconnections between these diverse domains for more holistic community assessments. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview An Integrated Model Based on a Hierarchical Indices System for Monitoring and Evaluating Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 524-559; doi:10.3390/su5020524
Received: 21 October 2012 / Revised: 24 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 1 February 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (3256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over 50% of world’s population presently resides in cities, and this number is expected to rise to ~70% by 2050. Increasing urbanization problems including population growth, urban sprawl, land use change, unemployment, and environmental degradation, have markedly impacted urban residents’ Quality of Life
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Over 50% of world’s population presently resides in cities, and this number is expected to rise to ~70% by 2050. Increasing urbanization problems including population growth, urban sprawl, land use change, unemployment, and environmental degradation, have markedly impacted urban residents’ Quality of Life (QOL). Therefore, urban sustainability and its measurement have gained increasing attention from administrators, urban planners, and scientific communities throughout the world with respect to improving urban development and human well-being. The widely accepted definition of urban sustainability emphasizes the balancing development of three primary domains (urban economy, society, and environment). This article attempts to improve the aforementioned definition of urban sustainability by incorporating a human well-being dimension. Major problems identified in existing urban sustainability indicator (USI) models include a weak integration of potential indicators, poor measurement and quantification, and insufficient spatial-temporal analysis. To tackle these challenges an integrated USI model based on a hierarchical indices system was established for monitoring and evaluating urban sustainability. This model can be performed by quantifying indicators using both traditional statistical approaches and advanced geomatic techniques based on satellite imagery and census data, which aims to provide a theoretical basis for a comprehensive assessment of urban sustainability from a spatial-temporal perspective. Full article
Open AccessReview Ten Reasons to Take Peak Oil Seriously
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 664-694; doi:10.3390/su5020664
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 1 February 2013 / Published: 12 February 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1010 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forty years ago, the results of modeling, as presented in The Limits to Growth, reinvigorated a discussion about exponentially growing consumption of natural resources, ranging from metals to fossil fuels to atmospheric capacity, and how such consumption could not continue far into
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Forty years ago, the results of modeling, as presented in The Limits to Growth, reinvigorated a discussion about exponentially growing consumption of natural resources, ranging from metals to fossil fuels to atmospheric capacity, and how such consumption could not continue far into the future. Fifteen years earlier, M. King Hubbert had made the projection that petroleum production in the continental United States would likely reach a maximum around 1970, followed by a world production maximum a few decades later. The debate about “peak oil”, as it has come to be called, is accompanied by some of the same vociferous denials, myths and ideological polemicizing that have surrounded later representations of The Limits to Growth. In this review, we present several lines of evidence as to why arguments for a near-term peak in world conventional oil production should be taken seriously—both in the sense that there is strong evidence for peak oil and in the sense that being societally unprepared for declining oil production will have serious consequences. Full article

Other

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Open AccessNew Book Received Occupy Education: Living and Learning Sustainability. By Tina Lynn Evans, Peter Lang Publishing, 2012; 356 Pages. Price: $39.95, ISBN 978-1-4331-1966-8
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 590-591; doi:10.3390/su5020590
Received: 31 January 2013 / Accepted: 31 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
PDF Full-text (117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Occupy Education is motivated by the sustainability crisis and energized by the drive for social justice that inspired the Occupy movement. Situated within the struggle for sustainability taking place amid looming resource shortages, climate change, economic instability, and ecological breakdown, the book is
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Occupy Education is motivated by the sustainability crisis and energized by the drive for social justice that inspired the Occupy movement. Situated within the struggle for sustainability taking place amid looming resource shortages, climate change, economic instability, and ecological breakdown, the book is a timely contribution to community education and action. It opens a whole realm of integrated theory to educators and sustainability activists-and demonstrates how that theory can be moved into practice. Occupy Education is an excellent text for courses in sustainability studies, social philosophy, globalization, social justice, food system praxis, sustainability education, political economy, and environmental studies. Full article
Open AccessNew Book Received Corporate Fraud and Internal Control: A Framework for Prevention. By Richard E. Cascarino, Wiley, 2013; 388 Pages. Price £50.00 / €60.00, ISBN 978-1-1183-0156-2
Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 774-778; doi:10.3390/su5020774
Received: 16 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 19 February 2013
PDF Full-text (19 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The publication Corporate Fraud and Internal Control contains essential guidance for companies to examine and improve their fraud programs: Corporate governance legislation has become increasingly concerned with the ongoing resilience of organizations and, particularly, with their ability to resist corporate fraud from the
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The publication Corporate Fraud and Internal Control contains essential guidance for companies to examine and improve their fraud programs: Corporate governance legislation has become increasingly concerned with the ongoing resilience of organizations and, particularly, with their ability to resist corporate fraud from the lowest levels to the upper echelons of executive management. It has become unacceptable for those responsible for corporate governance to claim, "I didn't know". Corporate Fraud and Internal Control focuses on the appropriateness of the design of the system of internal controls in fraud risk mitigation, as well as the mechanisms to ensure effective implementation and monitoring on an ongoing basis. Full article

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